Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baking Challenge

In a recent post comment,  "Grandma Tillie's Bakery" asked if I'd consider doing a post or a series about scratch baking for people who want to learn how to be better bakers. Since I have a great network of scratch bakers who read this blog and are also online on cake forums, I know that I could get a lot of good opinions on that topic, but I had a slightly different idea.

If you have a recipe that you tried, and think that you like it okay but that it could use some improvement, send it along and I'll post it. I'll look at it and see if I can make some improvements, and anyone else who wants to contribute can do the same thing. We can pool our responses and see what we come up with. Maybe I'll do this once a month or so, just to keep it manageable.

The recipe that we should start with is the one that everyone seems to have the most trouble with, the white cake...Kris Chinalski sent me this one and said that it's been giving her problems lately. It's her mother's recipe from when she was in high school, and she always made it with no trouble, so why it's not working recently we don't know.

2 1/2 C cake flour

1 1/2 C. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Sift dry ingredients together.

1/2 C. butter
1 C. milk
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 t. vanilla
Place butter in bowl with dry ingredients and 3/4 cup of milk--beat 2 minutes.
Add eggs, rest of milk and vanilla, beat one minute.

325 degrees, 30 minutes.

I baked one layer of this, which was the half recipe, and it only filled about 3/4 of the 7" pan, so it wouldn't fill two 8" pans. The crumb was a little coarse but it was okay, and the flavor was good. The texture was a little dense, so if you want it to be lighter that would be something to experiment with. I'll try it again over the course of the month with some tweaks and see what happens. If you want to do the same thing take notes, photos, etc. and send them to me. I'll do a roundup of opinions and changes that people made to improve the formula next month.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


katryan said...

Hey Kara, Am I missing something? I don't see any sugar in that recipe. In a classic reverse creaming recipe, you should have more sugar, by weight than flour. Reverse creaming is know as the " high ratio mixing method".

Karen Ferguson said...

One thing I can think of right off the bat would be to cream the butter and sugar, add the liquids, then put in the dry ingredients, instead of tossing it in with the dry ingredients.

Just off the top of my head. :)

Kara said...

@Kat, there's sugar there, it's not as much as the flour, though, so maybe that would make a difference.

@Karen, Maybe that would make a difference, but I do my white cake the same way that the recipe calls for and it works. I'll try doing the creaming method at some point and see if it changes the texture.

Carmen said...

If I were you try comparing WBH and Mermaid Bakery recipes with this one. Also look at "Davids Yellow Cake" on CC.
I agree that the creaming method needs to be looked at.
Theres also a recipe called, "Decadently Moist White Cake" that uses Buttermilk that I think you will be interested in....on CC.